Northampton teachers eligible for bonuses

Published 4:34 pm Friday, February 16, 2024

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JACKSON – During their regular meeting on Feb. 12, the Northampton County Board of Education approved a plan for performance bonuses for some teachers and staff.

Superintendent Dr. Rosa Atkins explained that the proposed bonuses would be for teachers in the areas of math, literacy, and science. To qualify for the bonus, teachers must improve student academic performances by 10 to 30 percent, based on the End of Grade and End of Course test scores. Instructional leadership staff who help teachers reach those goals will also be eligible for the bonus.

Atkins noted that the bonuses will come from ESSER (Elementary and Secondary Schools Emergency Relief) funding, which are federal funds that were given to schools to address learning loss and other impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic.

These performance bonuses will be one-time only.

District Finance Officer Jeremy Teetor explained that they worked with the state’s Department of Public Instruction to come up with high and low estimates for the funding needed.

The highest estimate is $247,056.75 and the lowest is $22,000.

“We know that it may not pan out to that full amount, but we’ve prepared the ESSER budget to accommodate it in that manner,” Teetor stated. “We hope it’ll be closer to the higher end of that range.”

The bonus amount differs depending on the subject taught and how much improvement is made. According to Dr. Atkins, math teachers, for example, would receive $1,000 for a 10 percent increase or $3,000 for a 30 percent increase.

After the presentation, board members had a few questions about the proposal.

Barbara Stephenson asked if online teachers would be included. Atkins answered that teachers through contracted services are not eligible, but ones hired by Northampton County Schools would be.

Stephenson also asked when the potential bonuses would be distributed.

Dr. Atkins said they anticipated receiving test scores in June, so the bonuses would be given out before June 30.

Clinton Williams asked how long the ESSER funds would be available for the school district to use. Teetor answered that they must be spent by Sept. 30, 2024.

Williams motioned to approve the performance bonus recommendation, and Stephenson seconded. The vote was unanimously in favor by those in attendance. Board members Tony Burnette and Rhonda Taylor were unable to attend the meeting.

Also during the meeting, Dr. Atkins announced that the district had received $150,000 from the Center for Safer Schools Safety Grant Program. The grant will be used to purchase safety equipment ($112,000) and train school and district staff ($38,000).

The Center for Safer Schools works towards promoting safe learning environments for students in schools throughout North Carolina.

Once again, the board approved these funds with a unanimous vote following a motion by Theresa Cade and a second by Dr. Marjorie Edwards.